Pandemonium (Piss Off #9)

‘Matski’ Mat Aerts (Limbabwe tapes/recs; Venlo, The Netherlands) did this with help of Peter Janssen (‘Pandemonium’ bassist), I read. I’d never heard/read about it until Dirk Ceustermans dug it up from his collection… This issue contained a scene-report about Venlo (their hometown), comprehensive interviews with local bands ‘Disgust’ & ‘Pandemonium’, a brief chat with ‘Mau Maus’ singer Chris, info on the German band ‘Inferno’, rants on vegetarianism, fascism, Hannover Chaos Tag and the Dutch monarchy, etc.

Brob

Piss Off existed for quite a long time (1980-88 I believe) and a diversty of people was involved… A lot dealt with the local squat-movement and the alternative music scene. I don’t have anything in my possession anymore so it’s difficult to tell more about it. I guard myself to make incorrect statements…

Peter Janssen

I really can’t remember much about it… In any case I know for sure that I was not the one who took the initiative for Piss Off. I did contribute and probably wrote a preface or an introduction from time to time. The idea to do Piss Off was set off by the example of the many zines at the time. What I do recall, not the early years, but that the first issue probably got out in 1980 verschenen. For all editions there were several people from the ‘scene’ that contributed. Piss Off was never really made by just one person. The lay-out was. When I have a look at the covers (I’ve got nothing else but thumbs), several (the first) were designed by Floor [Van Riswick] (‘Meer Staal’, ‘Tango Djoboko’, …), later by Peter ‘Pandemonium’. But I notice that other ‘designers’ were at work too. It’s very well possible that the original idea was Floor’s. Often people have the impression that the Venlo ‘scene’ was founded on ‘Pandemonium’ but that was, as I have told/written so many times, not the case. When the first Piss Off came out, the little men of ‘Pandemonium’ were still in their diapers. ‘Pandemonium’ might very well be the most legendary band from the scene but their growth quite benefited from the foundations arduously layed down by a few older punks of the (only real punk) ’76 generation. ‘Pandemonium’s bed had been made… Little Peter did get really active in the scene later on.

What else? The zine appeared irregularly: 15 issues in about 5 years… The last one was #13; there was a #10B and an extra election-issue. Not that I recall but so the thumbs tell me. A few copies were bought by the Stichting Nederlands Persmuseum [Dutch Press Museum Foundation]. That doesn’t exist anymore but perhaps you can still order something… Finally: there was an online archive, ‘Pand 24’, that Peter ‘Pandemonium’ set up but that doesn’t exist anymore either.

Anyway, I can’t remember a lot about the contents of Piss Off. I do about the printing. The zine was stenciled (Who still knows what that was?…). We had access to the presses of the KWJ (Katholiek Werkende Jongeren [catholic working youngsters]) in Venlo – not that we were that catholic (or working) – but the machines were there and they were at our disposal. Stencils were typewritten with an old-fashioned typewriter. The characters punched a hole (imprint) in a special kind of paper, the backside was then removed and layed (mirrored) into the stencil-machine on some sort of big (revolving) ink-ribbon. You rotated the ribbon, the machine grabbed a blank sheet of paper and behold: a print of your typewritten text. [the process is called mimeography] This printing was a fine mess but that only benefited the ‘punk’ outlook of Piss Off! One of the KWJ machines was a stencil-‘burner’. A big step forward in the ‘stenciling-technology’. Now you didn’t have to punch holes in a stencil but just on normal paper. One could add a drawing, or even a photo, if it just had a decent (black/white) contrast. You clamped the original on one side of a roll and a stencil on the other. Close the flap, turn on and the machine burned a copy in the stencil with a hot needle. Repeat…

Mat Aerts

Check out Mat’s Limbabwe website.

There’s already a brief interview with /presentation of ‘Pandemonium’ on these pages but what follows is the report of an indepth conversation with all the guys in the band…

[Translation below]

PUNK ANALYSIS

THE PANDEMONIUM INTERVIEW

So what is punk actually? Where do the terms in punk come from and what do they mean? What has ‘Pandemonium’ got to do with that for god’s sake? A sound-engineer/manager of a band interviews “his” band. Bit odd but perhaps the only way to finally go beyond the usual fanzine-questions. It hasn’t turned out to be an interview really. The tape-recorder was on and we had a conversation, like the ones we often have, e.g. in the car when we drive home after a concert. My role is to keep the conversation going, so I make the most annoying comments. What is recorded on the tape has been typed out almost word for word.

P: Peter, bassist/singer of ‘Pandemonium’; D: Danny, guitarist of ‘Pandemonium’: R: Rowdy, drummer of ‘Pandemonium’; M: Mat, who wrote this, sound-engineer/manager and what else for ‘Pandemonium’; S: Steiger, barman of the pub where we sat down; A: Andre who interrupts us regularly.

(Between brackets are remarks by Mat, so which haven’t been stated expmicitally.)

‘Pandemonium’ started from scratch 3 years ago. The only things that clicked was their friendship, that had its effect on the music. They were 15/16 years at the time. The first performance was at Bauplatz [squatted, later legalised pun-venue], after that the band started to grow. After a year the first tape got out, followed by several tracks for compilation-tapes and LP. The single Who The Fuck Are You was released by the end of 1983. ‘Pandemonium’s music developped into hardcore; major examples being American hardcore bands. Still ‘Pandemonium’ had its own sound. The single sold out in no time. The LP Wir Fahren Gegen Dreck got out recently [1984]. Almost every punk in the World knows about Wir Fahren Gegen nazis.

To get the conversation going the most logical question is: “Punk??? – what do you think about it?”.

Punk

D: You start P.

M: He always hast to start.

R: I didn’t really expect a question like that.

M: What’s weird about it, have you never been asked such a question?

R: Well, yes. But… Eh…

M: Did you expect a more difficult question from me?

R: No.

H: What do you mean by ‘being punk’? ‘Punk in general’ or the music? Or everything that comes with it?

M: Everything.

D: I’m not a punk anyway.

R: I’m not a punk either, I never claimed to be a punk.

D: But I do like punk music and I also like certain things that have to do with punk.

R: What I think of the current punk scene, uhh, regarding going out, going to concerts, drinking beer and smoking hash until you fall over. That’s not so nice for a band, but if the punks really want it that way, they have to know for themselves, but then they shouldn’t pretend being punk, that only gives punk a bad name.

D: They first have to know what punk means and stuff like that…and what they are doing.

R: Most think that punk is primarily blowing, drinking and dancing.

D: And paint an A on the back.

R: Standing up for your political opinion is not a problem but it is when you treat punk that way. Blowing and boozing hasn’t got anything to do with politics.

M: So it comes down to the fact that ‘Pandemonium’ consists of 1 punk and…

P: No.

M: No?

P: I don’t know.

M: Aren’t you a punk then???

P: I don’t know.

M: What are you then?

P: I am myself.

M: Aha.

R: I expressed myself as being be a punk some time, but I don’t really feel like a punk.

M: But do you feel at home at those concerts?

R: I feel at home there. It depends on what venues and what atmosphere there is.

M: Why did ‘Pandemonium’ start making punk music?

D: Because it’s just great and fun.

R: It’s just awesome, cool music, and I only like music where you can express something with and the like.

D: You can do that with rasta-muisc too, you can actually do that with all music.

R: I like it much more to play punk.

D: It’s just nice and fast.

R: And the people are friendly too.

D: Most of them.

M: I read in an interview for a German magazine that ‘Pandemonium’ wants to live ‘M.D.C.’.

R: That would be ideal.

?: Must be really punk.

R: What they do is awesome. Playing out a lot and traveling all the time; that’s so much more fun.

M: But when you say like ‘M.D.C.’, that’s just the musical part and not living like ‘M.D.C.’?

R: ‘M.D.C.’ is immensely political and they also think things through a lot. But I just know about myself: I’m just very stupid, I mean uhh… I think a lot about different things…

M: Shall we just leave that out?

R: No.

M: Doesn’t seem like a good idea to state in an interview “I’m very stupid.”.

R: You have to know that for yourself, I’m not so very smart but I do think about many things and when I can’t figure it out I’ll talk to people about it.

P: That was a hard one, man.

R: What a interview, dammit.

M: I think it’s a very good interview so far.

Idolatry

D: We don’t idolize anyone (still on the subject of ‘M.D.C.’), at least not me and P either.

M: Then why are you wearing an ‘S.Z.S.’ [‘Staatlich Zugelassene Säuferfront’ (“state approved drunks-front”), German band] T-shirt?

D: Because I just like them. Why are you wearing a Limbabwe T-shirt?

P: (to Mat) Egoist. Egotripper.

M: Because I think of myself.

D: Yes, no, I don’t believe that. No, I think ‘S.Z.S.’ are just good.

M: You like ‘S.Z.S.’ but you’re also promoting them. So you have a certain uhh…uhmmm…affection for them.

D: That’s your opinion, there are so many people who think differently about it.

M: See, that I attach a certain emotional value to Limbabwe that makes sense. After all, it’s my own company, I’ve worked for that for years.

P: So everyone should start walking around with their name opn their backs?

M: For the most part, that wouldn’t even be so crazy.

P: Why not with a different name? Then you also show respect for the other person.

M: Well, you see, then you still have a certain affection for such a person.

P: Yeah, sure, then you stand behind what they do.

M: But that’s a kind of idolatry.

R: There’s a difference between respecting someone and idolizing someone.

D: I don’t idolize ‘M.D.C.’ anyway. Neither ‘D.R.I.’. I don’t idolize anything that comes from America.

R: But it definitely is awesome music.

D: But I do would like to live like ‘M.D.C.’.

M: But then also with the macrobiological food and the meditating.

D: Everyone has to decide that for themselves.

R: Everyone has to live the way they want, the way they feel happy and that shouldn’t be at the expense of other people. Because sometimes I notice people going like: ‘straight-edge great’ and then they start forcing it down your throat and so on. I think that’s big shit. Well I do eat meat but I’m not going to brag about it.

Statement

M: Speaking of ‘imposing’. ‘Pandemonium’ performs under the flag Wir Fahren Gegen nazis [We Go Against nazis].

P: We don’t force that on anyone.

R: People need to know for themselves what they want to do with it.

M: They don’t need to come, is that what you wanna say?

R: They need to know themselves. If they want to come: OK; if they don’t want to come, good too.

D: As long as they don’t cause trouble. Please no. I hate that.

R: Those people who screw up a concert: I don’t have a clue what they come looking for.

R: With Wir Fahren Gegen nazis you make clear to someone what you stand for as a band.

D: It’s just a statement.

M: But one that the band acts upon.

D: Because that’s how I think it’s tunred into. We sing that song and everyone loves it.

M: You emphasize that too, there are more often anti-nazi pamphlets at the counter when you play somewhere, the LP is going to be called Wir Fahren Gegen Dreck [We Go Against Filth]. The single cover reads Wir Fahren Nog Immer… [We Still Go Against…]

P: Yes.

D: Yes.

R: That’s our opinion and everyone is entitled to know about it.

P: It’s just a statement, every band has one.

D: A lot of bands have them, just look at ‘M.D.C.’.

P: If you have that statement, everyone immediately knows where you stand, then you also know right away if people agree with us and who don’t. Then you immediately know what you can expect.

R: It’s a pity but it’s really necessary to draw people’s attention to this, it’s just necessary that you start singing about it, some people think that subject is boring, not me. It’s just necessary.

M: But most don’t understand the lyrics anyway.

P: Hence the pamphlets, and interviews.

R: Talking to many people. And hoping the people take them home and read and think about it or something.

M: Recently P put a pamphlet at the entrance at a concert in Venlo, because it was an anti-fascist punk festival. Most of the punks that came in walked past by without noticing.

R: Yes, that’s why everyone should know for themselves whether or not you take something like that; I mean: as far as I know, all papmplets were gone.

P: Yes, because of ‘Smoke’. She/he started handing them out at some point.

M: They were all cleaned up afterwards.

P: Of the 100 people who receive such a pamphlet, 50 may read it and 10 will still be thinking about it.

D: There may also be people who say ‘Oh, not that again.’.

R: What I just said: it’s been said so many times but it’s necessary.

M: Punk is an expiring case so…? There are 10 who consciously take it home and the rest…

P: Well, at least there are 10 and the rest is just there for the booze and the pogo.

R: Perhaps they don’t care.

P: Those who are tired of it can just stay away, what do I care?

R: …And if they don’t like our music, they should just stay home.

M: But why does ‘Pandemonium’ actually play? To bring a message, because of the music or because it’s just fun?

R: When we started, it was purely for our pleasure. We have been a bit more serious lately. Now that you get some more gigs and more contact with people.

M: Here comes Steiger.

D: He finally brought the guitar.

P: He’s really becoming a hippie.

M: Indeed, he’s really becomeing a hippie. I often say: “Steiger will be the first.”.

S: The first what?

M: The first from this scene to become bourgeois. The first to live at the Klok. I mean: the Klok is just ehh uhhmm… (For the uninitiated: the Klok is a residential area where many ‘old warriors’ have ended up and are slowely living a ‘normal’ life.

R: What difference does that make?

M: I don’t mean that as a negative criticism either. Everything I say is always received negatively. Back to ‘Pandemonium’. So you play to get your message across and for your pleasure?

D: And for your audience of course.

P: And for the fun.

R: It’s just fun to play; stress for a concert is OK though. I still suffer from stage-fright each time, you know.

M: How’s it possible that ‘Pandemonium’ actually exist for 3 years? There’s not a single band in Venlo that has survived that long.

P: How should I know.

D: Good collaboration, I think.

M: But when I hear you make an appointment about rehearsing, it’ll first go wrong 12 times for the most trivial reasons.

R: If you perform a lot, you sometimes get tired of practicing, but lately practicing is fun again.

LP

M: What do you think of the LP?

R: Well, it’s nice, the live songs are bad but the atmosphere is just awesome.

P: Those live songs are more about fun, the studio-recordings are great, not really good quality.

D: I think they’re rough.

R: It’s not super, it’s worth listening to.

D: I think the recordings are really rough.

M: What are you saying here now, it isn’t good?

P: The quality isn’t that good, that’s a fact right?

M: I think the quality is good.

R: But you’re asking us, you don’t have to give your own opinion about that.

M: What does it matter. I’m allowed to say that I don’t think the recordings are that bad, no?

R: They are better than the single.

D: I thought the single was a big mess.

R: No, not a mess…

M: I think it’s not too bad.

P: Not too bad at all.

R: I think it’s rubbish.

P: Not true. They’re all registrations, you can do them a 1.000 times. You’ll never get them perfect. One is good, the other not; what does it matter, that’s why so many things of us have been released lately.

R: If you record too perfectly then you cheat the people who buy the record, because you can’t play like that live.

M: I think the quality of the recordings also depends on the patience of the artist.

R: (to D) Yes, hey you arrogant character.

M: Of course you can register for such a record way better than what it has become. But you all don’t have the patience to do that.

P: You should make registrations every time you play. There will certainly be some good stuff among it and you can turn that into something.

Venlo

D: I feel like having a discussion.

M: All right, then we’ll start one… What do you think of your fellow punks in Venlo?

D: The fellow punks???

P: Which fellow punks ???

M: Oh that’s true: you’re not punks.

R: Do you mean the other punk bands from Venlo?

M: No, just the punk in Venlo in general.

D: A big mess… There are no punks here, right?

H: There are NO punks in Venlo?????

D: Maybe there are a few punks.

R: Just explain that…

D: Yes, uhh, what are they doing? They’re blowing in their room.

D: And then nothing.

S: I don’t blow.

D: Or crashing cars, stealing cars. I think they’re not that active. I’m not active myself, I’m just making music. And all of them here are too.

R: There are only a few people active in Venlo.

D: Those who are really active are P and you, and then I think it stops there.

M: Then why is that???

D: It’s cozy though…

M: It’s cozy.

P: Sometimes it’s not.

M: That’s right, sometimes it’s not.

P: You can’t really rely much on the Venlo punk-scene. Hardly anyone honours commitments.

M: Is that something typical of punks???

P: Yes, it is. If you add up all the experiences.

D: It’s a mess here. That’s also punk. Throwing paper on the floor.

(P throws a piece of paper on the floor.) P: That’s allowed here, it’s a punk pub.

Politics

M: Aren’t you afraid that one day it will end up in an incredible fight at a ‘Pandemonium’ concert?

R: Depends on with who. With skinheads?

P: Oh, I’ve been expecting that for a very long time, it’s not so bad that there hasn’t been a fight yet. It’s actually not too bad.

R: It’s always skins that cause trouble. There are also punks who do that but I haven’t seen it happen often. If I see a group of skins somewhere, I don’t feel very safe. They should keep their hands off the people and the stage.

P: It will happen some day that it will end up in a fight.

M: I actually want to come back to the politics we were just talking about. Is there any besides the “wir fahren gegen nazis” statement?

P: Do you ever read our lyrics?

D: Ha, ha, ha, hi, hi, hi…

P: Oh, you mean actively?

M: Yes.

R: Yes, I don’t go to church anymore.

D: I don’t go to school anymore.

M: Did you go to church before?

R: Yes, I’ve been an altar-boy.

M (to P): You too?

P: No-o-o man.

R: That was a lot of fun. I demolished that incense-thing once. Together with a few altar-boys I sat in the kitchen with such an incense-pot. We were swinging it hard, just like you do with a can of leaves, that gets it to smoke hard, and then that incense-pot, wham, flew against other things. Half an hour later, there was a funeral-mass that would start, and we quickly put that thing back together, you know. And we were standing by that coffin, you know, laughing, and then you saw the guy swaying that thing; it was a lot of fun.

M: I once saw a priest fall on his face in the middle of a mass. That looks stupid in a church, if the protagonist falls on his face; it doesn’t look neat. But is there anything else political being done other than not going to church?

P: What we do here is also politics: a squat-bar.

M: But I mean is: such a statement is very clear, it’s a very direct form of politics, that’s something very different from drinking a beer in a squat-bar. (What A calls resistance against society.)

P: Setting up an alternative record-store is also political.

D: Pay for shit.

M: Yes, but I do that for certain reasons. I do that for political reasons but they’re different from a “wir fahren gegen nazis”.

P: How do you mean then?

M: I used to always scream “get rid of nazis” and walked around with banners, throw smoke-bombs…

D: Heavy, heavy…

M: But I mean…uhh….you don’t accomplish anything basically. You spend an afternoon walking around the city with a banner or throwing your smoke-bomb, that was fun then. The next day it’s in the newspaper and a week later everyone has forgotten about it, including myself.

P: You don’t achieve anything with that.

M: So then I started thinking of “I’m going to take a different form of political action, I’m going to do things for myself, so I’m just ignoring everything, all the official ways that you normally have to follow to achieve something, I just leave them aside, I just do it my way, and that’s my form of action.”. I think that’s also the most essential way of taking action. You can’t send an policeman against such a person.

P: Well, for example, every day when I cycle to Venlo, I might keep waiting for 1 traffic-light, out of the 20 that I encounter.

M: Is that taking political action for you: riding through a red traffic-light???

P: In a certain way, it is. All those people waiting for a red traffic-light are stupid. If no-one is in sight in the street, I’ve been doing this quite consciously lately, you’re waiting in front of a red traffic-light and then I just don’t look anymore. I just keep on riding. When it comes down to it, I would wanna wait. Because those people won’t stop for me.

R: Then I’ld wait; if I were you.

P: Yes, then I also wait but I always pass that white line, and then I have a look or wait or so, but if nothing comes up, then I just deliberately go for it.

M: But when there’s a cop waiting around the corner? He sees you and there’s no traffic coming.

P: A few times they’ll scare me for getting a fine or something. Then I’ll continue waiting in front of the traffic-light. Those rules that you have to wait in front pf a traffic-light might be for someone else but not for me.

D: Still, traffic-lights are good, I think. Somewhere where it’s extremely busy…

P: I do take my responsibility. Those who don’t want to take their own responsibility can wait for a red traffic-light.

D: Yes, what am I supposed to say to that.

P: Think about that one for yourself.

M: The tape is still running…

D: I think that in some cases a traffic-light isn’t ridiculous.

R: Yes, in some cases, but everyone should know that for themselves.

P: Listen, if an accident happens because of me or something, then I take my responsibility. I look ahead to see if traffic is coming. I’m not ignoring the traffic-light like a blind man.

M: So P’s policy is that that he takes all responsibilities upon himself, with everything he does. Meaning that you don’t want to be legally responsible for anything.

P: Legal, what’s legal?…

M: Legal means: if you have driven through a red traffic-light, someone will write you a fine for doing so.

P: Yeah well then he can do just that when he feels like it but I don’t feel like it.

R: My policy is, uhh, that…

P: My politics have nothing directly to do with traffic-lights, that’s just an example, that’s also not about all politics or something…

S: Yes, I get that too…

P: That’s just a form of it or something…

D: My politics is peace.

M: Peace!!!

D: Yes, peace everywhere if that’s possible.

R: Yes, that would be great.

D: That everyone’s opinion has the same value and everything, but that won’t work.

M: Suppose a civil war is coming in South-Africa, to get rid of the white minority government…

D: But I support that, of course…

M: But those people are creating a war at that moment.

D: Hey, hello, well, how else would you do that?

P: You can’t help it under these circumstances…

D: You can’t do anything else, you have to use violence…

P: Just like in El Salvador or so…

M: But that’s not peace…

D: Yes, I know that…

P: These are situations where you can do nothing but use violence.

D: But at the very last when nothing else is possible.

P: That’s a situation where something like that is the last chance.

D: I think so too.

M: But in a year or so you will all get drafted for miliary service, except for P, because he’s gotten S5 [classification for Dutch military service, meaning totally unmotivated].

D: And me.

M: Don’t you have to do military service?

D: No.

P: How so then?

D: I got rejected, have a problem with my heart.

M: Have you already received an official rejection-notice for that?

D: No, it still has to come.

R: I’ll stay for a week and then I’ll be gone.

D: Those are private matters, right.

P: Whaaaaaaa, and you really wanted to join the navy? (to R)

R: I really wanted to be there but not anymore because…

M: Yes, explain further…

R: Because I didn’t have a fuck to do then. I was just bored. At that time I was a bit blinded by the idea that you would end up somewhere abroad. But I’m not so keen on that now. I mean…

P: Then they send you to Lebanon.

R: No to Lebanon. They asked me that but I don’t wanna do that. But then I would’ve had something to do, if you look at what you can do here in Venlo.

M: So that proves that people who are bored…uhhh…well, how do you say uhh…are potential…uhh…fascists.

D: No that’s not true. Just look at the starting-period. People get bored, are against politics and become punk.

R: Last Wednesday there was a thing about servicemen that are against nuclear weapons. That got repressed heavily, they were just cheated. When I’d seen that on TV and read about it, I didn’t want to have anything to do with those military issues. I’m also trying to request a re-examination now, because I’ve got hay-fever, I’m not taking formic acid anymore. I’m hoping I’ll get rejected or something.

M: But I mean: if you check the history-books then you see it too. In the 1930s there were also many people who got bored. Then Hitler came and exactly those people followed him blindly.

P: Yes, one part think about it, the other don’t. That part that does not think simply wants to get out of trouble as quickly as possible, and then they start looking for the easiest solution.

M: But that is often a majority though…that is a mass.

P: Yes, the masses are stupid.

M: That’s why you have to be able to conclude that it’s becoming increasingly dangerous in the Netherlands. You see more and more people around you who are bored. I also see that here in the Martinusstraat [street in Venlo where Bauplatz was located]. People come here almost daily, just because they are getting bored elsewhere. Then they get bored here.

D: If someone is bored, they don’t have turn to the CP [Centrum Partij; Dutch nationalist party] to vote.

M: No, no, that’s not what I’m claiming anyway.

P: The people today don’t think about wanting to get out of trouble as quickly as possible or something. They did do that in the 1930s though.

M: But I think things are gradually growing into such a trend.

R: I have the feeling that people in the Netherlands are not that strongly nationalistic.

M: That’s not the point. There’s definitely a trend. In particular the German punks…

Punks !!!

D: Not just Germans, I also often see utterly pissed Dutch punks lying on the floor.

P: In Germany the situation is also much worse when comes to attitudes towards the police and so.

R: The police act a lot harder there.

M: But don’t the punks provoke it themselves?

R: If someone behaves like that towards me…

P: That’s what you get over the years, just like America and Russia, then someone’s provoking a bit, an the other provokes some more, and they blame each other.

M: You played at a demonstration on Doe Wat ’84 [Do Something festival for activists & punks in the Dutch town of Deventer] and uhh…

P: We only did that for the money, we have nothing to do with the politics.

M: There were quite a few punks there…

D: Quotation-marks.

M: …People who call themselves punks. After you had played, someone tried to give an introduction about the demonstration. And it was the punks who were acting extremely obnoxious, that were also walking along with the demonstration and apparently didn’t even know what it was all about. At one point you could even see very clearly that the punks were out to confront the cops or something, hoping that it would end up in a riot.

R: Yes, I also thought that was ridiculous, because the city of Deventer did grant the Doe Wat organisation quite a few things.

M: But what do you think about such a punks, on a demonstration like that?

D: Well, the same thing as what you say.

P: There must have been some people who knew what it was about.

M: But that wasn’t noticeable.

P: No, indeed.

R: There were also some who thought the demonstration was great.

P: Yeah, they also walked half-drunk in the streets wondering “where can we get that other half a bottle of gin” or something like that.

D: Yes, that one was totally pissed.

P: He was just screaming “Riots, riots…”

D: Yeah, you can only laugh about it.

M: In fact, it’s deeply sad.

P: Actually yes, if you have been in it for a long time and helped out. Well yeah, I wouldn’t know but at a certain point many people would also think “I believe it’s been good, we’ll just demonstrate.” and there will be the same nagging, cops of course, and then it will all add up…

M: Listen here, I’ve been going quite a bit of years and have participated a lot in things like that in the past, but I certainly don’t and didn’t ever had that idea.

P: But some people do.

M: Then I think they’re just stupid people, they haven’t learned anything in all those years.

-There is a very long silence-

R: I think this is a bit of a weird interview, I must honestly say.

M: I don’t find it strange at all.

D: I think it’s a fun interview.

R: It’s different from normal, that’s for sure.

M: What do you mean, yes, those other interviews only consist of the same questions; this is more a conversation.

P: This is a discussion.

M: Yes.

R: No.

D: Yes.

M: Okay here comes a common question: “What do you think about skinheads?”.

P: Read it in those other interviews.

D: Just crazy, howling oi, just crazy ha, ha, ha, hi, hi, … We also play genuine oi oi punk (see Volkskrant [Dutch catholic newspaper] 23-6-84).

P: As long as it’s not a sieg-heil punk, then I think it’s alright.

S: What is sieg-heil punk?

P: ‘Sieg heil, in the city, oi oi’.

D: Well, I don’t know what to think about that. Oi is actually extreme-rightist.

M: What is that anyway, oi?

R: Oi is for punks and skins, just boozing and making fun, but the skins have taken over oi more for themselves…

P: That’s actually…uhh…of the working-class…

D: I think that oi has taken a turn towards the extreme right lately.

M: What is the musical difference then? Between…uhhh…

P: …Skin…

M: …Skin Music…

P: …Skin….

M: …Oi…

P: …Skin….

M: And hardcore?

P: Skin-music is more old punk from 1977.

R: Not necessarily, there are also skins that love reggae.

P: Oh for sure, have a listen to those records by the ‘Four Skins’ and so on, that’s just old punk-music.

R: Just slow.

D: Not that fast.

M: What is thrash???

D: Well I don’t know, according to me…

P: ‘Sceptic Death’ is thrash.

M: But I don’t find ‘Sceptic Death’ at all…

R: ‘Lärm’. ‘Lärm’ that’s thrash.

M: What kind of music do they do then?

D: Something like ‘Glorious Death’, ‘Disgust’.

M: Don’t you find that ridiculous, all of those labels…

P: Oh no, that’s the intriguing about it, constantly new things.

D: I think it’s funny indeed.

M: But I don’t hear the difference. I don’t hear a clear musical difference between ‘Sceptic Death’ or ‘D.R.I.’ Of course there’s a difference. ‘Sceptic Death’ of course has a very different sound than ‘D.R.I.’ but every punk band does have its own sound.

D: I don’t think so, I think all Finnish bands sound the same.

P: That’s not true, not all.

D: What I saw of ‘Kaaos’ was just a ‘Riistetyt’ imitation. But that may also be because I don’t know that many bands from over there.

P: Many bands there do have their own sound. The Germans say, like you say, the same of all of the Dutch bands, that they’re all too much inspired by America and so on.

M: So now you get the situation that everything is crammed into a box. This is thrash and that is…

P: They had also had that in the beginning, man.

M: Isn’t that also something that punk is opposing to basically?

M: But ‘Pandemonium’ is a punk-band, or not?

D: What d’you mean: the people or…

M: No, the band.

D: The music, you mean?

P: Well, see, I may have punk ideas, which you can call punk. You can start by not dividing into compartments by not labeling yourself, and that’s why I say: I’m not a punk. I’m just myself, that’s what you should start with, abolishing punk.

M: But in the meantime you are creating new labels, for example by saying this is thrash, that is hardcore. While you call ‘Sceptic Death’ trash and ‘D.R.I.’ hardcore, I don’t hear the difference between the two in terms of music-style. They only have their own sound but they do make music in the same style.

P: Somehow I just like those names, it’s just fun.

M: But what is surf-punk then?

P: That are those who walk around on the beach with a surfboard under their arm and a mohawk.

M: Is that also a music-style?

P: I don’t know, I just like it, I don’t take it too seriously at all.

R: ‘Black Flag’ or something.

M: (Is getting the hang of it too.) Isn’t that head-bang punk?

D: That’s not that great.

P: Is so.

M: For me it’s a very complicated matter, all those boxes; is this thrash, that is hardcore, this is oi, and that is skin. I don’t really hear a very clear musical difference between ‘Sceptic Death’ and ‘D.R.I.’. It’s just all punk.

D: I don’t think so.

R: I don’t think so either.

M: Well, OK, they have their own sound, but ‘M.D.C.’ also has a very different sound from ‘D.R.I.’ or ‘Dead Kennedys’. Yet all three bands are called hardcore. While all three sound totally different, just like the fact that ‘Sceptic Death’ also sounds different.

P: I don’t call ‘Dead Kennedys’ hardcore.

M: What’s it then?

P: Pffff…haha hihi…punk… Yes, what do I know man, I mean you just get that when people ask you what is this and what is that; how’s that band and all that. Then at a given moment you have to say like well that is this and that’s the way it is.

R: What ‘Sceptic Death’ plays is also difficult to describe. And that also needs to have a name.

M: I don’t even see how you can draw a line from ‘Disgust’ to ‘Sceptic Death’.

P: There’s a line in it but it’s chaotic.

M: But I don’t think ‘Sceptic Death’ is chaotic at all. ‘Disorder’ is also thrash then, because that’s also chaotic.

P: Call the band by its name and don’t force it into a box.

M: You started it yourself. I also want some clarity about those labels in the end.

P: There’s no clarity, it’s just all chaos.

D: That’s fine by me.

R: It’s difficult indeed to label everything indeed.

M: Can anyone say something positive about the RoodWitZwart [RedWhiteBlack] collective in Groningen [HC/punk-collective with bands such as ‘Massagraf’ ‘Vacuüm’, ‘JET$ET’, ‘Bloedbad’ & Barbie’s Boyfriend’ that released the Hatelijke Groenten compilation-7”]?

R: They can all go bugger off.

P: Look, it’s nice that they all get organised, but I don’t know, let those guys go their own way. If they think they’re on the right track then they have to go on. I think it’s OK that they take a heavy political stand, that’s actually another side of the issue.

M: Do you feel related to that???

P: Somewhere I do, somewhere I don’t; sometimes I’m supportive of the fact that they work together and so on.

M: You also have that collaboration here in Venlo, no?

P: But it’s not organised here.

D: It’s a big mess here.

M: But that just because of the people themselves here.

P: It must be a mess there too; it depends on how it comes out. If you’re in RoodWitZwart, you might also say that it’s a mess. That’s a collective then.

M: The music-collective here in Venlo also calls itself a collective.

D: That’s not a collective.

M: I don’t find anything collective about that either, you don’t even know most of the other bands that are a part of it.

D: There are so many bands here that don’t accept us in the O.O.C. [Open Ontmoetings Centrum = Open Meeting centre; venue in Venlo], especially that one guy, that heavy drummer.

M: Who? Ruudje? Doesn’t he accept you? I don’t believe that.

R: You should have seen him when I wanted to borrow a cymbal-stand, so chaotic he went: “And don’t you go breaking it!”.

M: He also says that to other drummers. I actually expect more aggression from ‘Drats’ or so. They don’t accept any modern music.

M: Is punk still modern, by the way?

P: That’s not the point.

D: Punk modern???

M: Is that still new?

R: I think it is.

P: There are always people who end up with it, and for them that’s new.

M: So blues-rock is new too?

P: For people who just discovered that, it’s new. Everything is just old, but for the people who just discover it, it’s new.

M: But 8 years ago, punk was really new. No such thing had ever been done before. Punk was really a culture at the time. A way of life. So a really new music with a new vision and a new dimension.

P: Just like hardcore was new a year ago.

M: No, hardcore is more a consequence or part of punk.

P: But punk has also been a consequence of other music.

M: Nothing preceded it. OK rock&roll has been done for 30 years, we know that. The rock&roll of the 70s was music like ‘Roxy Music’, David Bowie or Lou Reed, but that was totally different R&R then punk.

P: In the early punk you very strongly recognise the rock&roll, but then a political standpoint was taken.

M: At the time, punk was much more a way of life than a type of music; I don’t think that’s the case anymore.

P: With some bands it is, with others not anymore. But the music has become heavier.

M: So punk has grown into more than just music.

P: No not at all. For some that’s not true, for others it is.

R: I think punk is new. We still listen a lot of punk and keep hearing new things in it, and discover new things all the time.

D: Shall we talk about commerciality?

R: But…uhh… Mat, listen, blues-rock that might as well be new, but we don’t know much about that, you know.

M: Well yeah, you don’t have a connection with that.

R: It may well be that it’s also modern but I don’t know shit about it. I don’t know what blues-rock sounds like, well sort of, but I don’t have a clue.

P: You just roll into it.

M: But now you’re seering that punk is developing more and more as a form of music, just like hard-rock or country-music, and the punk-culture is going to disappear.

P: For some bands it has just become more radical.

R: Take a look at ‘M.D.C.’.

M: In what way more radical???

P: That they’re also living that way.

M: But what ‘M.D.C.’ does, people were already doing that in San Francisco 15 years ago, except that ‘M.D.C.’ plays different music.

P: That’s only appearing just now, but what they do is inspired by many other people.

R: See, what they do is awesome because the name of the band is just shocking people, that’s just great.

P: If ‘M.D.C.’ is gone, there will be something new that is shocking again, or more radical or so.

M: OK, we see the message of that band, but the punk-masses don’t.

P: That’s not the point.

M: The masses just care about the music, I think.

P: For some that will be the case, yes.

M: My feeling is that it has become a majority.

P: If you look at it that way, yes. What I said: the masses are stupid, they just consume.

M: Say what you want to say about commerciality. (to D)

P: Just look at the punk audience. If you add up the value of all that those punks are wearing, you can get rich.

D: Those T-shirts, studs, expensive leather jackets…it’s all ridiculous. I don’t think those bracelets are punk.

M: So punk is starting to lose its own identity?

D: That’s because of the masses.

M: If I walk into a disco somewhere, there’s people walking around with mohawks, army-pants, etc., that has become disco-clothing.

R: Yes, and then there’s something like ‘Blitz’, someting like that is ridiculous.

P: Hardcore has given punk its own identity back, for example people from America suddenly look more normal again. Then there’s labels like ‘straight-edge’ (hopefully that’s how you write it), very political, that’s a new identity.

M: That’s a positive development again, but so far – looking at what’s happening around me – it doesn’t impress much here in the Netherlands. At least not with the masses.

P: (again) The masses are stupid.

M: But you as a band, you’re playing for that stupid crowd.

P: No, no, that’s just part of those masses.

D: You mean they look so heavy punk?

R: Yes they look heavy, but I think it’s stupid that they spend so much money just to look that way.

M: Let’s just stop.

D: I still have lots to say.

M: Go ahead.

D: How did everything start?

M: No, we skip that because everyone already knows about it.

D: Why did we decide to make punk-music? (D starts asking himself questions).

M: To finish, let’s play a game. I mention a number of bands and then you just have to say what you think about them.

P: What sense does that make?

M: I want to test your taste.

D: Well OK.

P: Go ahead.

M: ‘Black Flag’.

R: The first LPs are very good.

D: The guitar-parts are awesome, I’m not idolizing them, but it’s just great.

P: Yes, it’s awesome.

M: ‘The Varukers’.

R: I’m not that devastated.

D: It’s alright.

R: I think they’re arrogant.

P: Oh no, that bass-player was very nice, just, I don’t know…ahh somewhere along the line it was fake.

M: Michael Jackson.

D: Macho.

P: See, something like that catches on with the stupid crowd.

M: ‘Vacuüm’.

D: Awesome.

R: I love that rhythm-box.

M: ‘Blurt’ (their music is on in the pub).

P: Is that it?

M: Yes.

M: Yes.

R: I’ve never heard this before.

P: This is nice if you’ve had a few beers.

M: Zoo (band from Venlo à la ‘Blurt’).

R: I like them.

P: What they did by the end was no longer fun. Do they still exist?

M: David Bowie.

R: Don’t know it.

M: Has regular hits on the hit-parade.

P: Hit-parade doesn’t interest me. is For the stupid masses.

M: ‘Frankie Goes To Hollywood’.

D: Very good.

R: It’s OK to listen to.

P: What was the name of their first single that was on the hit-parade back then?

M: You didn’t care about hit-parade, did you? Is there a 60s band that fascinates you?

R: Yes, I kinda like the ‘Velvet Underground’.

P: Jimi Hendrix.

R: ‘Rolling Stones’ and ‘The Who’. ‘The Stones’ especially.

M: (Now the conversation gets really bland) What do you think about ‘Pandemonium’?

D: Unbearable.

S: Bleeeeeeeeehhhh…

M: Shall we leave it at this?

D: You have forgotten something.

M: What’s that then?

D: ‘B.G.K.’

M: OK, ‘B.G.K.’?

R: Wow.

D: Very good.

P: Rotten slimeballs (to D & R)

D: ‘Arnhems Glorie’ is just rubbish.

P: Stupid skinheads, let the guys think.

M: Anyone still something to say?

R: Yes our favorite bands.

M: No, no, I don’t want to have that in, that list of yours is already in every fanzine; you’ld start off: ‘M.D.C.’, ‘D.R.I.’ etc/ etc. …I get sick of that. Anyone sensible to say?

P: Oh, ‘Frites Modern’ is also good. (record is just spinning in the background)

M: And you didn’t like that LP.

P: Never said that.

M: Damn, if only I had the tape-recorder turned on, I would have had the proof now.

P: That’s your problem.

M: I don’t delete this tape, so I always keep proof.

D: And…uhh…‘Disgust’ is also insane.

M: And what about ‘Delirium’?

D: They are also good but I go for ‘Disgust’.

M: Something’s still unclear to me. An English punk-band like ‘The Addicts’ or so…

R: I don’t know them.

P: That’s not punk.

M: What is it then?

P: They have a Clockwork Orange image.

(The interview ends here. I just can’t figure it out anymore. Who the hell can offer me clarity about what punk is, those labels, what they mean. We can’t figure it out, even ‘Pandemonium’ can’t get provide clarity about all this. A Clockwork Orange image!!! Ha, ha, ha… hahahahahahihihihi. Can ‘t stop laughing.)

 

Discography:

The Pandemonium Affaire: tape, Limbabwe C010, sold out

Als Je Haar Maar goed Zit: compilation-LP, 3 songs, Vögelspin bite 009, sold out

Holland Hardcore 2: compilation-tape, 6 songs, Er Is Hoop Tapes

Ongewasse Onzin: live-tape, limited edition, sold out

Vlaaikots: compilation-tape, 3 songs, Limbabwe C001, sold out

Who The Fuck Are You, single, Limbabwe S001, sold out

Wir Fahren Gegen Dreck: LP, Limbabwe LP002

This entry was posted in 1984, Dutch zines and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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